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i want to on "nightline" another war? the breaking plus. u.s. and allies prepare to intervene in the bloody war in libya after the u.n. authorizes military action against gadhafi's forces. >> and in a worldwide exclusive, gadhafi's sons talk from tripoli tonight. plus, nuclear code red. we have the latest on the desperate efforts of the japanese to stop the deadly chain of events from turning into a all-out nuclear catastrophe. are they at the point of no return? and the inconvenient truth. the race to cool a stockpile of
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radioactive fuel rods getting dangerously hot and what scientists fear if that race is lost. captions paid for by abc, inc. good evening. i'm cynthia mcfadden. we begin in libya where the u.s. and its allies appear poised to take military action on the heels of a u.n. resolution earlier this evening imposing a no-fly zone over the country and authorizing quote, all necessary measures to protect civilians. hours earlier, libya -- we spoke to gadhafi's son. christiane joins me now. you were just in libya, what can you tell us? >> well, i think they are
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bracing for military intervention but when i reached them, he was defiant with customary bravado. the second son is his closest political adviser and he was as defiant when i reached him on the phone tonight as when i first met him in tripoli last month. >> are you hide something are you worried? >> hiding from who? >> well as you know, the united nations has taken a resolution that would potentially involve air strikes against your father's air defenses and various military placements. >> i think our country, our people, and we are not afraid. >> what is your father's reaction and your reaction to this resolution that's just been taken? >> first of all, it was unfair. because as you know, from the beginning, we told everybody there were no air strikes against civilians. >> he claimed that the city of
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ben gazi in the hands of the opposition was full of people waiting for the gadhafis to come back. people in ben gazi are cheering the united nation's resolution because they're afraid of your father's forces? >> of course not. we are receiving on our tv every day hundreds of calls and people are crying saying please, come liberate us from this nightmare. people are not happy there. >> tonight, they are celebrating. overjoyed that the united nations has finally voted to impose a no-fly zone over the territory and the freedom they are fighting for. this resolution demands an immediate cease-fire. >> and a complete end to violence and attacks against civilians. >> reporter: this evening, the u.n. security council voted in favor of a resolution that would take all measures necessary to protect civilians.
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>> translator: the resolution is adopted. >> reporter: a the forces opposed that gadhafi has been begging the international community for weeks now. >> he killedxd our brothers. he killed our family. >> reporter: the uprising against the dictator how has ruled libya for 42 years began last month and spread rapidly through the east of the country with the opposition taking control of the second largest city, benghazi and coming within striking distance of tripoli. after the east rapidly fell to the opposition, gadhafi launched a counteroffensive. leaving him now, on the outskirts of benghazi. but tonight, things are at a turning point and colonel go da fee could face international intervention. earlier today he took to the radio to warn the opposition in benghazi of a looming offensive. we're coming, he said. we're k looking for the traitors and shall have no mercy or
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compassion. his son and close political adviser warned the international community. military operations are over, he said. within 48 hours, everything will be finished. our forces are almost in benghazi, whatever the decision, it will be too late. whether or not it's come in time, ton resolution means a no-fly zone will be established by neutralizing gadhafi's air defenses and it also authorized force to be used against gadhafi's troops if they appear to be threatening civilians. while the u.s. is in favor of the resolution, president obama is uneasy about using force in another arab country, while the u.s. is already fighting two wars in the middle east. >> i'm not a fan of foreign intervention but in this case where you have a leader who has been suffocating his country for 42 years and the libyans, especially over the past two
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weeks, it's absolutely necessary for the international community to take the side of libyan revolutionary. >> reporter: when i spoke to colonel gadhafi two weeks ago in tripoli, he was adamant that he had not lost control, despite the fact that then, the entire east coast of libya had fallen to the rebels and he insisted he would prevail. >> they love me, all. >> but if they do love you -- >> they will die to protect me and my people. >> colonel gadhafi, the president of the united states, the leaders of britain and other leaders, are calling on you to step down to leave libya. to leave your position of power. will you do that? >> [ laughing ] who would live his homeland? why i do need my homeland? who do i need libya.
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>> they say they've done it because you've avoided force against your people, shooting of protesters. >> translator: this is lying, 100%. >> reporter: last week, president obama had tough words for gadhafi. >> we are slowly tightening the neuse on gadhafi. >> reporter: but it was britain and france that led the charge on the no fly zmeen the u.s. has sided with the dick they tors against the people. the mistake is being repeated again and again and i think it's very important for president obama, for the secretary of state hillary clinton was in egypt and the revolutionaries didn't want to meet her. why? because hillary clinton and the u.s. administration have a terrible reputation in the region. >> reporter: now, with little choice other than to watch a blood bath, the u.s. has agreed to act. and so the real question is -- is the u.s. and its allies going to just have a stalemate around
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benghazi or try tend to gadhafi's rule all the way to tripoli. >> so christiane, does it seem as if the u.s. is about to be engaged in another ground war? >> well, the u.n. resolution wording is explicitly says -- no occupation force. but that leaves some wiggle room because it depends on nato or others to identify, determine what occupation means. obviously they don't want to go in that record but they're leaving themselves some wiggle room. >> any possibility that gadhafi will leave voluntarily? >> from what he said and his son said, the answer is -- no. >> and the final aim of this u.s. resolution is what? >> is it just to try to stop gadhafi, the last ditch effort or is it, as the president of the united states says, to make gadhafi go? he said gadhafi has to go. that's really the question at the moment. >> thanks to christiane. tensions as a fever pitch in
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libya tonight. much more of christiane's interview with gadhafi's son tomorrow on good morning america. and the latest on the nuclear nightmare unfolding in japan where they've gone to extreme measures to avoid a meltdown. is it too late to stop the worst? [ male announcer ] ten people are going to win the chevrolet, buick, gmc or cadillac of their choice. push your onstar button and you could be one of them. even if you're not an onstar customer. ♪ just push your blue button and tell the advisor you want to enter the onstar push on sweepstakes. ♪ but do it soon. no purchase necessary. see rules at to enter without a blue onstar button. ♪ [ male announcer ] what are you gonna miss when you have anallergy attack?
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with cynthia mcfadden. well, it is just seven days since the devastating 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocked japan followed quickly by a massive 23 foot wall of water. this tsunami alone erased entire towns in northwestern jamie lynn spears japan. for the last several day the world's focus has been almost
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exclusively on the crippled nuclear plant near the epicenter of the quake where workers have been desperately fighting to stop a catastrophe. clarissa ward reports from the streets of osaka, japan. >> japan is fay puts for big screens and fancy gadgets but all those electronics require a lot of power and in japan, more so than many countries is incredibly reliant on nuclear energy as a source for their power. about 25% of the electricity here is generated by nuclear energy. there's been a debate for decades here about whether it's safe for a country that's as prone to earthquakes as japan, to be so reliant on nuclear power plants. and now, with a possible nuclear meltdown imminent, that debate is raging even more than before. it's friday, just afternoon in fukushima and white smoke, again, appears to be spewing
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from the reactors. earlier, the closest most detailed video yet of the damaged nuclear plant. taken from a helicopter, the video shows the shattered reactor 3 we destroyed by an explosion and also, number four, walls blown off and that's the greatest concern. this green structure entirely exposed. this is what it used to look like. and below it, more than 11,000 spent fuel rods. normally a pool of water keeps them cool but now, much or all of the water may be gone. >> no information is available on the level of water in the spent fuel pond. no water temperature indication from the unit for spent fuel pond has been received since march 14th when the temperature was 84 degrees sent grade. >> the fear is that the water has either leaked out or boiled away. the rods could release large amounts of radiation. held comes have been sent by the japanese security forces to repeatedly dowse the nuclear
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plant with water. they joined fire trucks armed with water cannons normally used for riot criminal. >> seawater is being injected into all three units using fire extinguishing hoses. but their containment pressures are fluctuating. military helicopters carried out four water drops over unit three since yesterday. >> reporter: however, as one expert told "nightline" it's like using a squirt gun to put out a forest fire. since the earthquake the pumps that keep the reactor cool have been stopped. today, good news. a power line is close to being connected to two of the reactors. standing by, five high-pressure water pumps supplied but not manned by the u.s. to assist in cooling the reactors. >> we're working aggressively to support our japanese ally at this time of extraordinary challenge. we're saying expertise, equipment and technology so that the courageous responders on the scene have the benefit of
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american teamwork and support. >> reporter: meanwhile, deep inside the plant, a small number of workers armed with flashlights and fire hoses are working frantically to try to cool the molten core and reconnect crucial power lines. these are the only pictures. but today, a blog entry reportedly win by one of them describing the crisis as it unfolded. in the midst of the tsunami alarm at 3:00 in the morning when we couldn't see where we were going, we carried on working to restore the reactors. but the realization that this could be certain death as the hours turned to days, fighting fatigue and empty stomachs we dragged ourselves back to work. there are many who haven't got none touch with family members that are facing the present situation and working hard. also today, abc news found this video, still posted on the web page maintained by the electric company shot months before the disaster. the workers at the fukushima facility engaged in a disaster preparedness exercise.
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across japan, people are, of course, concerned and they are anxious about the situation but there isn't yet any kind of a real widespread panic. you can see today, people are out on the streets going to work and doing their shopping. the one concern that people do have that we've heard over and over again is that they're not sure they can trust the government in terms of the information they're being given about the situation at the nuclear plant. at the osaka train station we find a family of four arriving from tokyo. if i trust what the government is saying, it could be too late, this man told me. i wanted to leave tokyo before there's a panic. he tells us he hopes to be here for a few days but the reality today is that it could take weeks to bring this situation under control. for "nightline" clarissa ward in osaka. >> and our thanks to clarissa. tonight the japanese military announced it does not plan any more helicopter air drops of water over the reactor.
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joining me now is physicist and nuclear reactor safety
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scientist. doctor, thanks for being with us tonight. let's start with some good news. you feel the situation in reactors one, two and three, may be, in fact, improving? >> i'm finding cause for a glimmer of optimism. the fact is, it's seven days in and they haven't failed. to me, that's a sign that, maybe, they're not going to. >> now for the bad news. you're very concerned about what's going on in reactor number four? >> well, yeah. the spent fuel pools are a whole different set of issues and, in fact, represent a larger inventory of radioactive material than in any of the reactors. if they, indeed, are dry, they have the real potential of going through a oxidation process which is like burning, that could loft large quantities of
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radioactive particles in the air. >> could it be like they are noble? >> if the heat of the fire at the spent fuel pool were enough to loft it high enough and then have the wind blowing in the wrong direction and get the positive through just the worst possible outcome, a rainstorm. so with a lot of if's in that chain, there could be worse consequences than chernobyl. >> and for people on the west coast of this country? >> they have absolutely nothing to worry about. in terms of increase in the actual dose of radiation people get, it's not going to happen. >> thank you, doctor. and thank you for watching abc news. we hope you watch "good morning america" where they bring you the latest from japan and possible air strikes in libya.

ABC March 17, 2011 11:35pm-12:00am PDT

News/Business. Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran, Bill Weir. In-depth reporting on news and events with Cynthia McFadden, Terry Moran and Bill Weir. New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Gadhafi 17, Libya 10, Tripoli 5, Christiane 4, U.n. 4, Tokyo 2, Motrin 2, Britain 2, Clarissa 2, Geico 2, Linda 2, Clinton 2, Cynthia Mcfadden 2, Benadryl 2, Osaka 2, Abc News 2, Advil Pm 1, Fukushima Facility 1, Geico Radio 1, United Nation 1
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